VG Alaskan Yellow Cedar

Known to be the hardest Cedar in the world, VG Yellow Cedar is excellent for exterior cladding, musical instruments, and boat building.

VG Alaskan Yellow Cedar

Also known as: Sitka Cedar, Nootka Cedar, and Yellow Cedar

Scientific: Chamaecyparis nootkatensis

Janka Hardness: 2,589 H

This hard, dense vertical grain Cedar with tight growth rings can be found growing slowly in the Pacific Northwest, from Oregon, through British Columbia, and into Alaska. It's prized by boat makers, luthiers, and architects. Though hard and dense, it has a very low weight, giving it a high strength-to-weight ratio, similar to that of Douglas Fir. 

Character of Vertical Grain Yellow Cedar:

VG Yellow Cedar's durability makes it an exception architectural millwork material. It mills clean, with little or no warping, checking, or chatter. It's a great material for large scale architectural projects such as schools, churches, and civic centers. 

VG Yellow Cedar Color:

Yellow Cedar is just that. It has a range of colors for sulfur like yellow to a creamy-white color with the occasional black streaks. 

Common uses for Vertical Grain Yellow Cedar:

  • Wood beams
  • Wood Cladding
  • Wood T/g 
  • Wood Carvings
  • Musical Instruments
  • Totem Poles
  • Canoes and Boat Building

Fun facts about Alaskan Yellow Cedar:

  • The oldest known use for Yellow Cedar is about 3000 years ago. 
  • Baskets and rope found near Vancouver date back 2900-3000 years.
  • Alaskan Yellow Cedar was used by the Western Coast Native American peoples for totem poles and war canoes. 
  • The oldest totem poles in the world are carved from Cedar. 

cedar totem poles


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We typically offer VG Alaskan Yellow Cedar in the following sizes and grades:

Scientific Sub-species Grade Features 4/4 5/4 6/4 8/4 12/4 Plywood Circle Sawn Live Edge Beam
Chamaecyparis nootkatensis Yellow Cedar Clear Tight Grain, Yellow color with dark streaks

Scientific information about VG Alaskan Yellow Cedar:

Common Name(s) Yellow Cedar, Alaskan Cedar, Nootka Cedar
Scientific Name Cupressus nootkatensis*
Distribution Northwest coast of North America including Canada and Alaska
Average Dried Weight 2.58 lbs per bdft
Janka Hardness 2,580 N

Check out some species other than VG Alaskan Yellow Cedar

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